BaiduVice President Ma Jie, who was also in charge of Metaverse business “Xi Rang”, recently resigned. Although the Xi Rang team has not been disbanded, its future is uncertain as some members have already been transferred or retired.
Insiders say the Metaverse business is struggling to find a sustainable business model and is unprofitable. In addition to this BaiduXi Rang’s reluctance to focus on AIGC-related businesses and invest more resources in the metaverse is the main reason for Xi Rang’s marginalization.
Launched at the end of December 2021, Baidu dubbed Xi Rang China’s first “domestic metaverse” product, envisioning it as a persistent multi-user interactive space that transcends virtual and reality. In 2022, Xi Rang has hosted over 120 Metaverse activities and spaces spanning over 20 disciplines including culture, art, automobiles and consumer goods.
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Over the past year, Xi Rang has made great efforts to improve the R&D efficiency of Metaverse products and reduce system operating costs. early January of this year, Baidu launched Xi Rang Metaverse-based MetaStack, touting it as the world’s first independent Metaverse solution that can reduce the Metaverse development cycle from 6 months to 1 year, just 40 days.
Earlier this year, Tencent announced the layoffs of all positions in the XR business, with more than 300 employees transferred or retired. The head of the XR business, Shen Li, has already retired. Tencent at the end of last year.
Considering that, since the end of last year, Tencent, Baidu, ByteDance, and others are making varying degrees of tweaks to their businesses related to the Metaverse and XR. Since generative artificial intelligence has become a mainstream hot topic in today’s tech world, the metaverse field has cooled significantly.